Tiny orchid back from extinction
"A... species that was presumed extinct has been found on the slopes of
The dense midge orchid was last recorded in 1852 and had been listed as
extinct in Tasmania.
The orchids are about five centimetres high, with a cluster of tiny flowers.
A Threatened Orchid Project Officer, Matt Larcombe, says 60 patches of the
tiny orchid have been found on Council and private land in South Hobart.
"A local field naturalist, Kevin Bonham, actually discovered it," said Mr
"He saw some leaves [orchid ?] late last year that he though were a bit odd
and went back up this year to have a look and see what they turned into...
it turned out to be the dense midge orchid.
"They're tiny... 4 to 7 centimetres tall and very fine so unless you're
really down on your hands and knees looking you'd just miss them and you've
got to be there at that right window when they're actually in flower to
actually see them or else there's nothing above ground, just a tuber below
URL : http://www.abc.net.au/news
A terrestrial orchid species thpught to be extinct in Tasmania has recently been rediscovered. Corunastylis nudiscapa has been located on the slopes of Mt Wellington near Hobart during a search for Land Snails by officers of the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries,Water and Environment (DPIWE). This species has not been recorded since the type species was collected in 1840. Growing in sandy soil occuring on the eastern foothills of the mountain, the officers were initially unable to immediately identify the plant but formal identification came quickly as C. nudiscapa has no Tasmanian species with which it could be confused. It is a Dwarf Midge Orchid with tightly congested inflorescence of crowded reddish-brown to purplish glabrous nodding flowers and was only known from this single location. Great news and a psychological boost to those who never say never. Now all we need to do is get the same department to protect those other species rapidly heading in the same direction.
Alan W Stephenson
National Conservation Officer
Australasian Native Orchid Society